The VHF Radio Course teaches you how to operate a VHF Radio. You need to take the VHF Radio Course before you can take a VHF Radio Assessment. Upon successful completion of the Assessment you will be issued with a VHF Radio License. It is a legal requirement that someone on board has a license.
The VHF Radio Course is also known as the Short Range Certificate (SRC) Course. It is a 1 day course in how to operate a VHF Radio and all the procedures associated with using a radio, for example calling marinas, how to send a Mayday or a PanPan and how to ‘relay’ either of these. The VHF Course covers Digital Selective Calling (DSC) – the method of calling other yachts electronically, as well as the traditional method of calling by voice.
We conduct these courses mostly in London.
The VHF Radio Course will teach you how to correctly use a VHF Radio and give you the knowledge you need to take the VHF Assessment. The VHF Radio Licence (or SRC) is the qualification required by law that someone must have if there is a VHF radio on board.
All charter companies, including those in the Med, require you to have a VHF Radio license to charter one of their yachts.
There is a two step process to get a VHF Radio Licence, (Short Range Certificate SRC) you must:
Firstly - attend and successfully complete this 1 day VHF Radio Course. We generally run these courses in London. The course can also be taken online. Have a look here for the online version of the VHF Course. (or take the online course) AND
Secondly - on completion of the VHF Radio Course you will be eligible to take the VHF Radio Assessment. Also offered in London, this is taken separately to the VHF Course. It cannot be taken online. You are assessed with others and the whole process including the admin involved takes about 3 hours. (Don’t worry – you are not grilled for 3 whole hours!).
You do not have to book the assessment at the same time as booking a course. If you opt for the online course you must still attend an assessment session in person. You cannot take the assessment online.
There is some pre course reading for the VHF Radio course and we will send you either an ebook or a hardcopy on the post about 5 days before the course. We will also email you some notes as soon as you book a course.
Courses usually start at 10am and finish at 5pm. You will usually find that we are offering our VHF Radio Courses in London in Limehouse or Holborn.
You need to book an assessment separately and can view dates Here. To attend an assessment costs £30. There is also a £60 licence fee payable to the RYA on the day of the assessment. Assessments are held also in London at the same venues as our courses.
It can take up to 21 days to receive your VHF (SRC) Radio Licence from the RYA. If you pay an additional fee the RYA will turn it around for you in 48 hours. (Very useful if you are chartering a yacht imminently!)
There is no age limit to take the VHF Radio Course. You must be 16 years or over to take the VHF Assessment.
If you opt for the online version of the VHF Radio course you must still attend an assessment session in person. You cannot take the assessment online.
If there is demand at your workplace we can run a VHF Course and assessment over 3 or 4 evenings or a weekend. If you would like us to hold a VHF Radio course for you at your office do get in touch with us.
If you hold the 'old' VHF licence (pre -1999) or a UK aviation radio licence you will still need to take this course.
To be awarded the SRC, students must be able to:
A. Distress situations
1. Define a distress situation.
2. Initiate a DSC Distress Alert, with position and time input manually or automatically.
3. Send a Mayday call and message by voice.
4. Respond appropriately to a DSC Distress Alert and to a Mayday call and message,including relay of a distress message.
5. Know how to deploy an EPIRB and a SART.
6. Know the procedure for cancellation of a distress message sent in error.
B. Urgency Situations
1. Define an urgency situation.
2. Initiate a DSC urgency alert.
3. Send an urgency message by voice.
4. Respond appropriately to an urgency message.
C. Safety Situations
1. Identify a situation in which a safety message is appropriate.
2. Input a DSC safety alert.
3. Send a safety message by voice.
4. Receive Maritime Safety Information by NAVTEX.
D. Routine Communication
1. Initiate a routine call using DSC.
2. Establish communication and exchange messages with other stations by voice on appropriate channels.
3. Test the radiotelephone by means of an appropriate test call.
4. Enter a DSC group and Individual MMSI.
5. Maintain an appropriate listening watch on DSC and voice channels.
6. Use the International Phonetic Alphabet.
Some paper and a pen for taking notes.
The copy of the G31 or e-G31 RYA VHF Handbook that we supply. We post or email this to you about 5 days before the course.
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